How to improve your Spanish by watching Spanish TV series

How to Learn Spanish by Watching Spanish TV Programmes

Watching Spanish programmes is an easy way to learn Spanish and improve your language skills. It will help you to loosen up and acquire vocabulary.  It will give you a better understanding of how the language is spoken and you will get more used to the musicality of the language.

Which subtitle settings should you choose to learn Spanish?

Before you grab popcorn and get comfy, here are some tips that may help you to decide the best subtitles settings for you, depending on your level of Spanish:

-If you have a basic level, watch Spanish films with English subtitles. It will help you to catch any phrases, expressions and words that you already know.

-Once you get more confident and have an intermediate-advanced level, change to Spanish subtitles. This way, you can learn the grammar, the spelling and the pronunciation all in one!

-When you have an advanced level, turn the subtitles off and enjoy the challenge.  You might struggle at first but don’t get frustrated if you have to turn the subtitles back on once in a while. The different accents of the actors will impact on your understanding.  Good luck!

5 Great Spanish TV shows to boost your understanding

Here are 5 of my favourite TV programmes that will help you to improve your Spanish:


1.El Ministerio del Tiempo

This programme follows the adventures of three agents, from different eras, that work in a secret agency of the Spanish government (The Ministry of Time).  They oversee and control time portals, working to stop villains changing Spanish past history and therefore its present and future.

Watch it if: You like learning about history and you have a witty sense of humour.  There are some jokes related to the currents affairs in Spain (i.e. politics), but sadly these kinds of jokes are universal.

Spanish TV serie El Ministerio del Tiempo


2.Paquita Salas

One of Spain’s best talent agents in the ’90s, Paquita now finds herself searching desperately for new stars after suddenly losing her biggest client.

Watch it if:  You like the films of director Pedro Almodovar and/or you enjoy surrealist humour.  This show is a mockumentary, in a similar style to the US comedy show Parks and Recreation.

Spanish TV serie Paquita Salas


3.Cable girls

It tells the story of three women trying to pursue their dreams in 1920s Madrid.

Watch it if: You like historical dramas, if you are interested in the society of the 20’s and if you are interested in how women were perceived and treated during that period.

Spanish TV serie Cable girls


4. Locked up

The series focuses on a young woman who is sent to prison. Naive Macarena Ferreiro falls in love with her boss and because of him commits several crimes of accounting manipulation and misappropriation.

Watch it if: You like the Netflix show Orange is the new black, you enjoy a good thriller, or you’d just like to learn Spanish slang and some colourful swear words. 😉

Spanish TV serie Locked Up


5. Cuéntame cómo pasó

Cuéntame it’s a well-known TV programme in Spain and it has been going on and on for the last 16 years. It describes the life of the Alcantara family. Starting in the 60’s, during Franco’s dictatorship, the audience witnesses the evolution of the family during the first years of transition until the late 80’s.

Watch it if:  You would like to learn about Spanish contemporary history. Perhaps more importantly, watch if you have a lot of free time because it has 19 seasons so far!

Spanish TV serie Cuéntame


Have I missed out your favourite Spanish programmes? Let us know in the comments!

Author Info

Ana Sanz Pascual

I have been working for several years in Education and I really enjoy getting to know the history, the culture and the traditions of other countries.

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